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# Trend in maths explanations?

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I'm pretty sure I'm not just imagining things(unfortunately) when I talk about explanations given by maths lecturers.. This is what I've noticed:

- Easy stuff is drummed into our heads in great detail, far more than is necessary. The steps in easy calculations are too drawn out, and look almost redundant.
- When it comes to the hard stuff, they're running behind schedule, so it's rushed, it's brief, and we don't have enough time to write decent notes. The steps in harder calculations are either brief, missing, or shrugged over as "same as the easier ones"
- Symbols magically appear in preprepared lecture notes(and in the lectures themselves). Half way through a calculation, an alpha will appear from nowhere, and a factorisation will have occured that makes you go "the hell!?".
- Answers for past papers(to make sure you're doing something right), go something like:
"Basic Textbook"(Note: example similar to question will appear nowhere in the core texts or any of the recommended texts.)
* "As previous"(Note: answer to the previous question was indeed * "Basic Textbook")
* "Sorta like the last one, but not"
Not helpful. NOT HELPFUL AT ALL! If I'm reading the solutions to check my answers, stupid smart-alec answers like that don't help me at all. They may aswell write "LOL ITS DED ESAY LOL" on the front page of the solutions.
- Intellectual obfuscation, "Eigenpairs" suddenly cropped up, I was like "eh?, where'd this come from", turns out it's just a term used to group the Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors.
- omgwtf usage of "Thus", this usually occurs after they've managed to pull an extremely large polynomial out of their ass, then crunch it into something like a / (x2 + 3x - 1)
Note: the a is this alpha I was talking about previously, it just appears like a little bodge-pixie, fixing their horribly broken explanations.
- Inability to create questions that:
a) are on topic
b) are correct
c) have answers available for checking progress
d) if c), have correct answers available
e) are not repetitions of past questions, to make their lives easier, eg:
1) John has a ball sack, it has 3 red balls, and 4 red balls, he asks Jane to rummage around in his ball sack and pick one out at random "SHE DOES NOT GIVE HIM THE BALL BACK!!!111". What is the probability she noticed this cunningly disguised sexual reference to testes.
2) As 1), but she gives him the ball back.
3) As 1), but she takes two balls, gives one back.
3) As 1), but takes two balls, gives two back.
4) As 1), takes all his balls, doesn't give any back.
5) As 1), takes none, walks off.
You get the picture, not only is it tedious, it's annoying.
- Stupidly simple blackboard examples, rock solid assignment work questions. I had a physics teacher that realised this was common practice for maths teachers, and he came up with a practice known as "Giving us the most obnoxious example questions known to man". He wasn't the one to give a 2x2 matrix inversion example on the board, then give us a 7x7 matrix to do in our books, no, he'd do some outrageously stupid 9x9 matrix inversion example, go through it stage by stage, pointing out pitfalls, and asking us to complete parts of the process as we went along. Good stuff. Also, his examples weren't like this(hypothetically):

Invert this matrix:1 2 3 1 2 11 1 2 1 3 11 1 1 1 1 12 1 1 2 1 11 3 1 1 2 13 1 2 1 1 2I mean, for crying out loud.. what's wrong with the numbers 4 and upwards!?!. If I come to look at the working out for that example at a later date, I'll prolly just cry.

## 1 Comment

I've always had problems with the way most people teach math. Thank god for the ones who get it right!

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